What are some differences and similarities between deviance and crime?
The major difference between deviance and crime concerns the fact that the latter is official deviance. Thus, those who commit crimes will inevitably face formal sanctions such as imprisonment or arrest (Goode, 2016). At the same time, deviance may either be regarded as a criminal action or not since there are many variants of deviant behavior, from overeating to assaults. The punishment for deviance depends on the gravity of the doing, but it is necessary to understand that not all kinds of deviance may be regarded as crimes.
Crimes should be regarded as a form of deviance that poses a significant threat to the well-being and peace in society. Though deviance, in general, is considered to be something dangerous and is in some ways connected with committing crimes, deviant behavior is not the same thing as a crime (Goode, 2016). Apart from the fact that crimes are one of the forms of deviance, there is one more similarity between them. It concerns the fact that both crimes and deviance follow society’s response which is expressed by legal prosecution or public condemnation.
Rough Division of Labor Between the Sociologies of Crime and Deviance
Rough division of labor between sociologists who study crimes and those who specialize in deviance concern that they pay attention to the different aspects of people’s personalities. Thus, those who study deviance in general focus on behavior as well as beliefs and physical conditions, while sociologists studying crimes tend to pay more attention to the behavior of criminals, excluding two other aspects (Goode, 2016). Such discrepancy in studying these two phenomena enables the sociologists to consider different types of sanctions society imposes on criminals and people susceptible to deviant behavior. Hence, the latter usually face informal sanctions such as public condemnation or other, while criminals encounter formal sanctions such as imprisonment or legal prosecution (Goode, 2016). It is necessary to understand the rough division of labor between those who study crimes and deviance in order to be able to see which measures may be effectively applied to these issues.
Goode, E. (2016). Deviant Behavior (11th ed.). Routledge.